Alonso breaks Brawn's stranglehold in testing


JEREZ DE LA FRONTERA, March 17 – Spain's two-time world champion Fernando Alonso of Renault broke Formula One newboys Brawn's impressive testing form on Monday by coming out on top during during the second day of testing here.

FERNANDO_ALONSOAlonso made up for his crash on Sunday by completing 103 laps with a fastest time of 1:18.343, just ahead of Brazil’s Rubens Barrichello of Brawn who has had a streak of dominant testing performances recently.

"I am happy with the day as we did more than a 100 laps which was our target for my final day of winter testing," he said.

"This has been the first time we have run on a really hot track and the information we have from today will be very useful for the first few races, which are usually very hot," Alonso added.

It was Alonso’s final day of testing before the 2009 season starts with the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne on March 29.

Nelson Piquet will take over the R29 for the team’s final day of testing on Tuesday.

World champion Lewis Hamilton of McLaren, who has struggled during pre-season testing, was the fourth fastest in testing.

He had been scheduled to hit the track on Sunday but the British team decided at the last minute that it would run from Monday to Thursday instead of joining the other teams from Sunday to Wednesday.

The testing at the circuit wraps up on Thursday.

Best Jerez times:

Fernando Alonso (ESP/Renault) 1:18.343 (103 laps)
Rubens Barrichello (BRA/Brawn) 1:18.398 (62)
Jenson Button (GBR/Brawn) 1:18.892 (12)
Lewis Hamilton (GBR/McLaren) 1:19.513 (87)
Nico Rosberg (GER/Williams) 1:19.783 (123)